These last few days I've been watching a lot of memorable stuff. First up was the highly anticipated new film from one of my favourite directors - Darren Aronofsky. The film is called The Wrestler and stars Mickey Rourke as a washed out wrestler trying to get back in the game even though his body is not what it used to be. Marisa Tomei co-stars as a single-mom stripper and takes it all off for this powerful drama. I think pretty much everyone makes a great performance and the film is certainly worth watching for anyone with a taste for stories about broken people just trying to hold on in a world collapsing. Sadly enough, I still think The Wrestler comes off as one of Aronofsky less interesting films as it's lacking the classic editing elements and alternate stylings of his previous classics like Pi and Requiem for a dream. I guess that Aronofasky takes a slightly different direction with every film these days, and this time he just focuses on the drama rather than on the eye-catching effects of alternate cutting. A slight letdown by Aronofsky standards if you ask me but still a great film overall.
Next up was an old Swedish film I've been wanting to see ever after I saw the trailer a while back. The title is Sacrificio: Who Betrayed Che Guevara? and it was directed by Erik Gandini and Tarik Saleh. However, one of my main interests in this film was the fact that the editing was done by Johan Söderberg as I remembered he's memorable cutting techniques from the documentary-styled films Surplus and Lucky People Center International. If the second title sounds familuar it probably won't surprise you to know that Johan also took great part in the scoring of this film as it's a central piece of work from his musical collaboration with Erik Pauser under the alias/band name "Lucky People Center". But anyway... Sacrificio tells the true (?) story of what actually happened to Che Guevara. The makers travel all over the world and meet with a bunch of key-people tied in with his ultimate death and capture. One of these men is Ciro Bustos, the one guy whom history has pointed out as the person who betrayed Che Guevara the most and helped bring him to justice by ratting him out. This is allready a widely known fact for most people... but as it turns out... the official story has a lot more holes than anyone would have thaught.
And finally in the viewing these last few days was The boy in the striped pyjamas directed by Mark Herman. Just like Valkyrie, this is a film that centrals around a plot of german characters but everyone in the cast is actually speaking english, which is quite an unusual concept these days (or so I thaught). But anyway... the film tells the story of a german family during the nazi era, where the father is working as an officer in the concentration camps, while the wife and two kids are surprisingly oblivious to what actually goes on in there. After moving to a new home in the middle of the country side the 8 year old son of the household is becomming increasingly bored. With no friends to play with and nothing to do he decides to sneak out into the nearby woods and ultimately ends up outside the fences of a nearby concentration camp. Through these fences he meets a young jewish boy pretending to do choirs at the corner of the camp. Being kids they soon become friends and the son continues to sneak out to see him even though his parents forbids it. The film is incredibly gripping and certainly takes a step away from the happy hollywood framework. In the end, this is just one of those must see films and it comes through as one of the more tragic and memorable films I've seen in recent times. My only wish would have been for it to take the story further and not ending as quickly as it did but it's still gets a high score in my book.
PS. I know the database updates are slow but I tend to focus on quality more than quantity these days. DS